Just finished conducting a parish mission at Immaculate Conception Parish Melbourne Beach, Florida. I’m always impressed with the people you meet in an ordinary parish like this. Here’s where believers meet.
How much power they have! Literally, those I talked to this week reach around the world. I tried to help them realize their potential by pointing out just one thing: they’re reaching out across the world already on the internet, which most of them use.
So I asked them to use their parish website and this blog as a way of thinking together about the gift of faith they’ve been given. We have to stir up the gift of faith we’ve been given, together. It will make us at home in the world we live in and thirst for the world still to come.
Some parishioners took me to a wonderful play on Sunday afternoon in the neighboring parish. It’s called “Miracles,” about the miracles of Jesus, told in gospel songs. Beautifully done, by hometown talent.
I hope they keep doing that kind of thing. We need artists to help us imagine our faith and point out its beauty. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful idea to combine a play like that with a parish mission, I thought. Maybe some day.
We need to think about our faith as well as approach it imaginatively.
For thinking about faith, I’ve found some books helpful. Here they are:
What Happened at Vatican II, John W. O’Malley, SJ, Cambridge, Mass, 2008
A fine explanation of Vatican II and its blueprint for the future of the Catholic Church.
The Faithful. A History of Catholics in America. James M. O’Toole, Cambridge, Mass. 2008
A interesting look at the church in America from Colonial days till the present.
A Secular Age, Charles Taylor, Cambridge, Mass 2007
Hard to get into, maybe, but for me it’s the best explanation of the times we live in now.
United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, US Bishops, Washington, 2006
A good modern catechism. In the mission I used the catechism’s approach, which introduced doctrine through the lives of saints and people of faith.
Besides books, there are blogs. It’s getting harder to keep up on things as magazines and newspapers, both secular and religious, decline. Cable news is so often shallow. But here are a few blogs of Catholic interest that I follow. If you know any more let me know.
http://cnsblog.wordpress.com/ Catholic News Service
http://www.americamagazine.org/blog/ The Jesuits, God bless them
http://www.commonwealmagazine.org/blog/ Laypeople write this one
http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/ Plenty of Roman stuff from Rocco